There is little fence-straddling regarding the legislation. Calling the tax bill “fundamentally unjust,” Kate McMahon of Friends of the Earth charged Congress had “slipped a wasteful $6 billion giveaway to the dirty corn ethanol industry into this bill.

“An unprecedented coalition of taxpayer, libertarian, environmental, humanitarian, industry, agricultural, faith and progressive advocates united to oppose the extension of corn ethanol subsidies, but Congress lavished this gift on the corn ethanol industry anyway. This wasted money will line the pockets of polluting corporations while American families can barely afford to put food on the table.”

Unsurprisingly, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), which has long said extension of the ethanol blender’s credit and estate tax reform was at the top of its agenda, was unmoved by environmentalists’ arguments. Failure to renew the tax breaks “would have done much to harm our nation’s rural economy and the future of America’s farms,” said Bart Schott, NCGA president and North Dakota corn farmer.

“The estate tax reform will allow greater flexibility when planning for the future and farmers won’t have to worry about losing their land to pay an inheritance tax,” Schott said.  “Farmers now have a better ability to pass their land onto the next generation and we can keep America’s farms in our families.”